The European Southern Observatory Messenger

ESO photo of Spiral galaxy NGC 1232
ESO photo of Spiral galaxy NGC 1232

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) publishes a periodic e-newsletter about ESO's activities and astronomy. The June 2007 issue of ESO Messenger is now available. Articles in this issue include:

  • Astronomy in the Czech Republic
  • Progress of the ALMA Project
  • Exploring the Near-infrared at High Spatial and Spectral Resolution:
  • First Results from CRIRES Science Verification
  • Towards Precision Photometry with FORS: A Status Report
  • Using the h-index to explore the scientific impact of the VLT

The 80 page PDF can be downloaded from Back issues of the ESO Messenger are also available from the same page.

You can receive email notification of the release of new issues by sending an email to with the following line as the message body:
subscribe eso-enews your_email_address

The ESO web site also hosts an excellent Public Image Archive featuring a wide variety of astronomical pictures. In addition to having a variety of resolutions available for download, the text descriptions provide good background information on the associated image.

As an example, see the image above used to illustrate this article. The description on the ESO web page for this photograph of Spiral galaxy NGC 1232 is: “This spectacular image of the large spiral galaxy NGC 1232 was obtained on September 21, 1998, during a period of good observing conditions. It is based on three exposures in ultra-violet, blue and red light, respectively. The colours of the different regions are well visible: the central areas contain older stars of reddish colour, while the spiral arms are populated by young, blue stars and many star-forming regions. Note the distorted companion galaxy on the left side, shaped like the greek letter ‘theta'. NGC 1232 is located 20_ south of the celestial equator, in the constellation Eridanus (The River). The distance is about 100 million light-years, but the excellent optical quality of the VLT and FORS allows us to see an incredible wealth of details. At the indicated distance, the edge of the field shown corresponds to about 200,000 lightyears, or about twice the size of the Milky Way galaxy.”

So feed your eyes and feed your brain by taking a tour of the Public Image Archive.

Ad Astra, Jim

| Return to the Blog Index | This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007 at 8:42 am and is filed under Astronomy, Space Art.